Macomb — State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) supported two ethics reform measures following federal corruption indictments of Democratic lawmakers from Chicago, but urged the General Assembly to pass stronger ethics legislation to combat corruption in State government.
“We have an obligation to the people of Illinois to ensure that lawmakers are held to the highest ethical standards, given our state’s terrible history of corruption” said Rep. Hammond. “The ethics reform measures passed by the General Assembly last week move our ethics standards in the right direction, but do not go far enough. I supported the legislation, but I’m disappointed that the Democratic majority refused to consider more serious, comprehensive ethics reform measures.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 1639 and House Joint Resolution 93, increases disclosure requirements for lobbyists and establishes a task force to study and recommend additional ethics reforms. Both pieces of legislation left ethics requirements for state lawmakers unchanged. Rep. Hammond has signed onto a sweeping ethics reform package authored by House Republicans.
The House Republican ethics reform package includes:
- House Bill 3954 will revise statements of economic interest to include more details similar to the information required for judicial statement of economic interest forms. This forces full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and provides greater transparency for members of the General Assembly.
- HJRCA 36 will require a special election to fill General Assembly vacancies through the same laws governing our party primaries. This will prevent political power-brokers from picking their preferred candidates for the vacancies.
- House Resolution 588 will allow a chief co-sponsor of any bill with five co-sponsors from each party to call it for an up or down vote in a substantive committee.
- House Bill 3947 will ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently, members of the Illinois General Assembly – state representatives and state senators – are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government units, such as a counties or municipalities.
- House Bill 3955 will create mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts
“Our ethics reform package directly addresses the corrupt behavior of the recently indicted and arrested lawmakers from Chicago,” said Rep. Hammond. “These proposals increase transparency, limit conflicts of interest, and work to prevent lawmakers from serving themselves instead of their constituents. I hope we will be able to debate and pass this legislation when we return to session next year because this issue is not going away. The calls for ethics reform will only grow louder as this ongoing corruption investigation develops. I stand with my constituents and the people of Illinois in demanding more from our elected officials.”
These proposed ethics reforms specifically address instances of corrupt behavior engaged in by former State Representative Luis Arroyo and State Senator Martin Sandoval. Aspects of this proposal have already received bipartisan support. House Republicans have introduced over two dozen pieces of ethics reform legislation, but the Democratic Majority has refused to consider them for an up or down vote.
The General Assembly concluded the 2019 veto session last Thursday, November 14. The Illinois House of Representatives will return on Tuesday, January 28 of next year.